Yes, I know this was the talk of the psychotronic town a couple of years ago. I was too busy watching other junk to get around to it, and I’ve got a weird (possibly anti-hipster) aversion to popular B-Movies, so that’s another cheap newscycle I missed out on. Anyway, I’m here and I’m sorry I missed the start of the party because, holy heck, this is one fun movie.
This is one of those classic “make it cheap, make it fun, have a laugh doing it” horror-comedies that keeps on getting churned out, this time for the impressively low $35,000, but it’s actually properly funny rather than cringy. Obviously for a film that has the “VFX: Car on fire” rather than the actual thing as one of its opening gags it’s incredibly self-aware, but it manages to stay just the right side of the line rather than falling into its own arse. This is probably helped by its 75 minutes run time; it doesn’t stop for anything, giving it an almost Airplane! velocity of jokes.
Gregory James Cohan carries the film in the role of Doug Jones, a catholic priest with a tragic past and a current affliction of turning into a Tyrannosaurus Rex when angry due to ninjas. He doesn’t believe in dinosaurs, but he does believe in Carol, played by Alyssa Kempinski, and that he could use the deranged violence for the forces of good. Other characters come and go, including the criminally underused Frankie Mermaid who could be a movie in himself, as the plot chews them up and spits them out. Often in a non-metaphorical manner. It’s all as frenetic as its soundtrack, and that’s just filled with hard-rock punky bangers.
Whilst the sets, costumes, and bulk of the effects are basic, the shooting style is fresh and raw, and the script has a barrage of one-liners and quips that you’ll be looking for excuses to use for a while. It also has sufficient internal logic, and genre knowledge, to keep things on the rails even whilst being totally off the wall. There are a couple of semi-decent fight scenes, along with some purposefully shit ones that the more enlightened kung-fu movie fans should chuckle at. For pure balls the best scene has to be the full-frame, full daylight, full VelociPastor transformation one; never has a film shown off such a shonky costume with such unabashed pride.
For something that is intentionally just-a-bit-of-fun there are obviously those who, for whatever reason, will find it a bit too silly to enjoy. That’s fair, as it’s a cross-section of religious gags, horror parody, kung-fu parody, and even parody-parody, and that’s a hell of a Venn diagram to fit into. It also needs to be admitted that some of the acting is a bit weak, and not everyone is going to almost choke themselves laughing at seeing a character step on a landmine in Infront of their lover and paint the entire scene gore red. Thank god I wasn’t drinking at the time
But, as you’ve probably gathered, it went down well with myself and the rest of the watch party, so it’s getting the stamp of Treasure with unashamed childish giggling. There is talk of a follow-upw, but I’m not that interested as I don’t think this particular lighting can be bottled twice. Still, if it racks up more cash for writer, director, and producer Brendan Steere then I won’t complain. At least this is proper indie trash and not cynical corporate crude.